By Carl Malek
Lincoln chose to kick off day two of the 2012 North American International Auto Show by unveiling this MKZ concept car which appears to be a slightly disguised glimpse into what the production version of the next generation MKZ sedan could very well look like.
Ford’s sole surviving luxury marque has a lot riding on the shoulders of this concept, and the next generation MKZ could very well perhaps be Lincoln’s most important new product release in the brand’s history. Ford executives also promised that the new MKZ will finally offer true distinction between it and its more mainstream stablemate, the 2013 Ford Fusion sedan. It was this lack of differentiation and unique identity that was always a key complaint for the previous two iterations of the car. To find out if Ford designers did indeed succeed in this mission, lets take a closer look at the MKZ concept.
The exterior styling of the MKZ concept does feature some lines and fine details that will most likely not be on the final production spec version of the MKZ. But for the most part, the overall look and shape of the car does appear to be a conceivable and distinct shape when compared to the Ford Fusion. One feature that stands out in particular is the full canopy glass roof, which would give the MKZ a way to stand out against its Blue Oval-badged sibling if it makes it into the production car. Other exterior touches are the unique angles in the corners of the vehicle that do their part to give the MKZ even more distinction.
This theme of distinct cues and unique touches continues into the interior of the concept, which may appear similar to the Ford Fusion’s cabin, but Lincoln designers have appeared to have gone for a different layout that is more upscale and is made using higher quality materials. However, the most important aspect of the interior is that it is distinct - especially when looking at the way the center console and instrument panel are laid out inside the cabin. Other interior features include the addition of advanced safety and communications equipment which is all controlled from a 10.1 inch TFT screen.
No information regarding potential powertrain offering was released when the MKZ concept car was unveiled, but expect the car to most likely come to market with the same powerplants found in the 2013 Fusion, with more details possibly coming as soon as the New York Auto Show.